Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2013 – Part I – 75-41

It Was All About The Great Voices

More than any other year that I can think of in recent memory, 2013’s best songs were all about terrific vocal performances.  Of course, any song with an insanely catchy rhythm can win you over on that alone, with vocals and lyrics coming in distant second and third.  I think what I hear is great singers who really should be receiving far more recognition than they are getting.  They can’t tour much, have dedicated fan bases, and spend a lot of time cultivating their path online.  It’s too expensive for performers to travel great distances to play for 150 people unless they can get a break with the costs involved.

In the commentary that follows, I’m not talking about all of the songs between 75 and 41, particularly those where performers also had songs higher up.  So consider what follows to be some highlights of the year 🙂

  • One performer who set the tone from the beginning to the end of 2013 is FrankMusik.  Granted Vincent Frank does have some moderate success behind him, but to do what he achieved in 2013 stretched his resources.  And achieve he did – two albums, Between and Between Us, an EP Far From Over, as well as two tours in the US and shows in the UK.  I was happy to ride the FrankMusik train in 2013 even though I didn’t get to see him perform this time because you never knew what to expect next.  Plus there’s his unbridled enthusiasm in creating his music, which ranged from frenetic to pensive.  And the stories he told, mainly so very sad but cathartic at the same time.  Two more FrankMusik songs appear higher up on my list. “Chasing Shadows” #72; “Life (Is My Revenge)” #69; “Fast As I Can” #56.
  • Another performer who had a great year, but with all of the bells and whistles possible, is Justin Timberlake.  He hinted that he would release his first album since 2006 at the end of last year, which was quickly followed by his single “Suit & Tie”, featuring Jay-Z (#73).  The powerful R&B/pop album The 20/20 Experience arrived soon after, the best selling album of 2013 no less, full of a varied set of songs that averaged in the 7 minute range, kind of risky in itself, but definitely a whole lot of fun when they weren’t too ambitious like the raucous “Let The Groove Get In” (#53).  By the time second single “Mirrors” arrived, it was already known that The 20/20 Experience Part II was on deck, and the very 80’s and Michael Jackson-influenced single “Take Back The Night” (#49) was upon us.  And with Jay-Z’s Holy Grail album, we were pretty much assured of hearing new Justin Timberlake music every day in 2013.  But even with all of the money behind this project, was it a total success?  I would say Part I achieved what it should have, and more.  I think there were missteps with Part II arriving so soon after Part I even though many of its songs were stronger than those on Part I.  But unlike recordings by independent artists, Parts I and II will pay for each other over time.  It was great to have Justin Timberlake back though as his voice was in fine, fine form.

Newcomers:

  • UK soul singer Charlie Brown had been featured on many songs and mixtapes over the last five years, but broke into the UK Top 10 with his uplifting “On My Way” (#75).
  • 17 year old New Zealand singer Lorde topped charts worldwide with her lyrically and melodically clever “Royals” (#68).  I couldn’t get enough of it for the first several weeks before it ran its course and peaked at #11.
  • New York dance duo Ghost Beach arrived on my chart with a unique sound that bridges punk and dance in the Penguin Prison remix of “Too Young”, which is #70 for 2013.
  • 20 year old Florida-born Ariana Grande was already well known to the teen set for her roles on “Victorious” and “Sam and Cat” as Cat Valentine.  But her stunning vocal range came to prominence over the last few years, and her debut album Yours Truly saw release in late summer.  It was however preceded by a winning single called “The Way”, featuring rapper Mac Miller, which got to #8 on my chart and is #66 for 2013.
  • UK pop singer James William has established himself with his Olly Murs tribute shows, but is also quite the astute songwriter as well.  His bright and shiny “Lay Your Love On Me” ranks #54 for 2013.
  • Another UK pop singer draws more from classic R&B influences to arrive at a contemporary sound that recalls Simply Red a lot of the time.  Sam Dickinson released his debut album The Stories That Occurred and “Learn To Wait”, its second single, is #50 for 2013.
  • L.A.-based Jarell Perry released one of the most sensational albums for free download in early 2013, Simple Things.  It’s full of powerful songs that make a really cohesive listening party as an album as a whole, which is unusual considering most performers are opting for EP’s.  The song that stuck with me most throughout 2013 was “9 2 5”, which tells why it’s so important to break out of a regular routine and experience life.  “9 2 5” is #45 for 2013.  Expect great things from Jarell in 2014, starting with the EP White.
  • NYC trio Andy Suzuki & The Method built on their existing east coast following (as well as a dedicated one in Brunei!) by releasing a full album, Born Out Of Mischief, which transcends rock, pop, jazz and country styles, led by fine vocals by Andy Suzuki.  The impressive “Dirty Floors”, which could be the theme song for any indie musician, got to #7 on my chart and is #42 for 2013.

Continuing from 2012…

  • UK duo Bim released their Lifelines EP in late 2012, and one of its best and lyrically most powerful songs was turned into a video featuring comic book images.  “Burn” is #74 for 2013.
  • UK teen favourite Conor Maynard paired up with Ne-Yo for the dance hit “Turn Around”, which is #64, while Ne-Yo himself brought some emotionally-charged R&B/dance to charts with “Let Me Love You (Till You Can Learn To Love Yourself)”, which is #61 for the year.
  • Daniel Bedingfield found much online success with his Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik EP and the award-winning video for last year’s “Secret Fear”, which he also directed.  More good things are coming from Daniel in 2014!  Joining the class of 2013 from that project is “O.V.E.R. U.” at #55.
  • Cambridge, MA quartet Passion Pit continued with singles from their 2012 album Gossamer, which often seemed to offer emotionally loaded lyrics over slight and bright melodies.  “Take A Walk” is a little different and stands out from the rest of the songs on the album.  It reached #6 on my chart and is #46 for 2013.
  • Australian dance duo The Presets offer synth-drenched otherworldly dance music which sounds like nothing else.  Their album Pacifica wasn’t always successful but the focal point to me was the intense album track “A.O.” (which stands for ‘adults only’), which is an unmade science fiction movie unto itself.  It’s #47 for 2013.

Returning Favourites:

  • At end of 2012, US quartet One Republic issued the single “If I Lose Myself”, which was eventually included on the band’s first album in 3 years, Native.  The single signaled a more synth-led sound than usual which I found to be very appealing, though it wasn’t until later in the year with “Counting Stars” that the group once again achieved massive success, reaching #1 in the UK and Top 5 in the US.  “If I Lose Myself” is #71 for 2013 – it may be re-released to follow up “Counting Stars”.
  • 2012 was absent of music from our favourite boy robot, Simon Curtis.  So the singer gifted us with an EP of songs written for others, called WWW, full of the expected electronic pop and dance bliss but somewhat different from what we had heard in RA and 8bit Heart previously.  But “Berlin Wall” (#63) is an unforgettable singalong anthem paired alongside the likes of “Laser Guns Up”, while “Do I Have To Dance” (#48) is a shattering dance epic as the singer pleads “notice me” but alternately screams “how long do I have to dance?” as if it’s the worst thing in the world.  Simon has a new song and dance video funded by fans which will appear in 2014.
  • Adam Tyler has been busy writing and recording his follow up to 2011’s Shattered Ice album after spending a lot of 2012 touring.  He gave us a taste of what he’s working on with the dubstep-influenced “Fade Into The Light” at #58.  The song was also featured on the essential dance compilation This Beat Is Poptronik… Volume 2… along with three others on this list!
  • L.A.-based Semi-Precious Weapons toned down their rowdy rock style a few notches for the anthemic ballad “Aviation High” early in 2013, which also serves as a lead-in to their upcoming release in early 2014.  Can’t wait to hear what these boys have to offer us!  Of note:  Jarell Perry also recorded a spot-on soulful cover of “Aviation High”, proving the song’s instant versatility.
  • And at #41 for 2013 is the Oscar-winning “Skyfall” from Adele, which got to #7 at the top of the year.

SONGS 75 to 41

The prettier web version should be online by the end of Sunday.

75 CHARLIE BROWN On My Way
74 BIM Burn
73 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE featuring Jay-Z Suit & Tie
72 FRANKMUSIK Chasing Shadows
71 ONE REPUBLIC If I Lose Myself
70 GHOST BEACH Too Young (Penguin Prison Remix)
69 FRANKMUSIK Life (Is My Revenge)
68 LORDE Royals
67 OSVALDO SUPINO Ma Radio
66 ARIANA GRANDE featuring MAC MILLER The Way
65 MATTHEW KOMA One Night
64 CONOR MAYNARD featuring NE-YO Turn Around
63 SIMON CURTIS Berlin Wall
62 SEMI-PRECIOUS WEAPONS Aviation High
61 NE-YO Let Me Love You (Till You Learn To Love Yourself)
60 LAWSON Juliet
59 PARRALOX Headhunter
58 ADAM TYLER Fade Into The Light
57 RIVER TIBER What Are You Afraid Of
56 FRANKMUSIK Fast As I Can
55 DANIEL BEDINGFIELD   O.V.E.R. U.
54 JAMES WILLIAM Lay Your Love On Me
53 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Let The Groove Get In
52 LAWSON featuring B.o.B. Brokenhearted
51 PET SHOP BOYS Love Is A Bourgeois Construct
50 SAM DICKINSON Learn To Wait
49 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE Take Back The Night
48 SIMON CURTIS Do I Have To Dance
47 THE PRESETS A.O.
46 PASSION PIT Take A Walk
45 JARELL PERRY 9 2 5
44 CHRIS WALLACE Keep Me Crazy
43 WILLY MOON My Girl
42 ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD Dirty Floors
41 ADELE Skyfall

BILLCS Top 30 #396 – January 14, 2013

rivertiber5

There continues to be a significant one! two! three! punch leading my personal chart.  Two of those come in the form of soon-to-be-powerhouse Matthew Koma, whose “Parachute” leads the way with “1998” at #3 and a contender for #1 in the coming weeks.  Slotted in-between is “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon, which seems to be picking up more fans as the weeks go on.  “Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah – who has another new song coming for you soon, glides to #4 (video below, if you haven’t yet seen it), while “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”, my choice for single #2 from Chris Wallace’s Push Rewind album, moves up to #5.  Chris seems to be popping up everywhere in the USA; an L.A. show is on deck.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Making news in these pages again but this time on the chart is Toronto band River Tiber (pic at the top of this page), whose second album Synapses is available for free download from their website.  In it you will find the song now at #10, “What Are You Afraid Of”, but becoming a huge deal with a debut at #6 is far and away one of the most unique songs of 2013, “The City”.  I can’t provide you with a link to hear it online, so you’ll just have to take my word for it 😉 but perhaps Tommy Paxton-Beesley will offer something up in the near future 😀 Nevertheless, it’s a quiet but heartfelt song about moving on, set to a nifty electronic backdrop.  River Tiber played an excellent set at The Drake Hotel on January 7 to an unexpected packed room.  It’s amazing how far River Tiber has come since I saw them during Canadian Music Week in a 3 a.m. show.

Bim’s gorgeous and emotional “Burn” rises to #9 this week, while “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield becomes the second top tenner from Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik at #8.  A video is in the works but below is a new official lyrics video that was introduced recently for the song.

I’m currently wading through the complexities that comprise Passion Pit’s sophomore album Gossamer.  It has the unusual mix of highly personalized lyrics by leader Michael Angelakos along with an eclectic, fanciful blend of rock and electronica – nothing out there quite sounds like Passion Pit.  And when you hear “Take A Walk” (below) it commands attention and heads start to bob.  The song advances to #12, and after catching a repeat of Passion Pit’s songs on Saturday Night Live, I’m even more looking forward to seeing them in concert in February.  Also playing on that bill in Toronto will be Matt & Kim, whose “Now” rises to #16.

The lower part of the chart is brimming with entries from the last few charts.  Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You” is up to #17, with more Chris Wallace in the form of album track “Keep Me Crazy” at #18.  The fastest riser is the unanticipated electronica-heavy “If I Lose Myself” by One Republic at #19.  It looks like more than a smattering of influence of Swedish House Mafia has rubbed off on Ryan Tedder and band – you can kind of hear the melody of “Save (The World Tonight)” inside of “If I Lose Myself”.  “Youth In Trouble” from The Presets’ latest album Pacifica lands at #20 (listen to the epic Green Velvet remix below – you can download it with your email addy for free right here), while “Reboot The Mission” by The Wallflowers jumps to #22.

Besides River Tiber’s “The City”, three other songs debut on the chart.  Zedd & Foxes team up for “Clarity” at #21, soon to be one of my most played songs of the year, which I wrote about just recently.  I also wrote about the dance explosion that is “A World Apart” by European producer/DJ Davis Redfield, featuring a fantastic yet hitherto unknown female voice, and it arrives at #27.  At #29, somewhat belatedly but definitely a grower, is “Turn Around” by Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo.  Conor already has chart experience in these pages with last Spring’s “Can’t Say No”, and this third single from his Contrast album definitely makes ears perk up when you find out how good the voices of Conor and Ne-Yo sound together (despite the weak-ish video below).  This young English buck has the vocal chops, and his next album should really tell the tale.

BILLCS Top 30 #395 – December 31/12

We interrupt our year end countdown with this less flashy post to bring you my last personal chart of 2012 and the first that will count towards year end for 2013. Three performers return to the chart after long absences.

After a mediocre start with “Feel Again”, the second single from One Republic’s upcoming third album Native is a stunner.  “If I Lose Myself” (#26) is a sleeping slice of soft electronica that returns to the familiar sound of recent hits such as “Good Life”.  Since singer/songwriter Ryan Tedder has been involved in a lot of dance/EDM projects recently, it’s no surprise for the influence to spill over to One Republic.  But overall “If I Lose Myself” is a better song, which returns the band to my chart since 2008 after three Top 10 hits, including the #1 “Apologize”.  

With even a longer gap on the chart, The Wallflowers are back for the first time since 2005 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (#28), which was originally made available as a free download.  With guitarist Mick Jones from The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite successes on board, you can hear the distinct presence of songs like “This Is Radio Clash” or “Rush” in the music.  The video (above) is also filled with great, seemingly impossible choreography too.  The Wallflowers had my favourite song of 1997, the equally rhythmic “One Headlight”.  

Shiny Toy Guns were Grammy nominees back in 2007 and with their new album III they are now among the better known indie scene.  Making their first appearance since their Top 10’s (“You Are The One” and “Le Disko”), the band returns with the highly engaging “Somewhere To Hide” at #30. 

The fourth debut on the chart could actually be a re-entry if it wasn’t re-recorded.  Aiming at a younger market by including top notch vocalist Ariana Grande (from TV’s “Victorious”), Mika’s “Popular Song” is back on the chart at #29.  The original version got to #18; I expect this new one will do better.

Highlighting key moves on the chart, “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon moves to #2 to attempt to dethrone “Parachute” by Matthew Koma, which is #1 again for a second appearance.  Matthew is also right behind at #3 with album track “1998”, while Tao Hypah’s supremely catchy “Play The Girl” becomes his second Top 5 hit at #5.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace soars into the Top 10 at #6, with other new entries to the Top 10 by Kid Massive & DATABOY “Good Girlfriend” at #9 and “Burn” by Bim at #10.  

River Tiber’s “What Are You Afraid Of” is the fastest riser, gliding 22-14, with other big moves from songs by Daniel Bedingfield, FrankMusik, Passion Pit, Chris Wallace (with “Keep Me Crazy”), Ne-Yo, and The Presets.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

BILLCS Music Blog’s Top 75 Songs of 2012 – #40 to #31

#40 Labrinth featuring Tinie Tempah “Earthquake”

“Earthquake” is a carry over from last year, when it was a #2 hit in the UK.  Europe still gets what North America doesn’t:  Labrinth (aka 23 year old Timothy McKenzie) created a complicated landscape which stands out from so many other dance/EDM records of the past year.  Tinie Tempah’s rap blends into the proceedings quite nicely, and the song is matched with an appropriately snazzy and other-worldly video.  Boom! Shake the room.

 

#39 JMSN “Something”

One of the most compelling records of the year, if not always an easy listen, is JMSN’s †Priscilla†.  The lengthy album features R&B-oriented pop songs about heartbreak, loss, loneliness, self-doubt, and self-realization.  But JMSN (Christian Berishaj) executes his songs with such finesse, well-structured vocals, and arrangements to die-for that you are drawn into the concept rather than shoved away from it.  “Something” is the album’s stunner, full of longing and grim truth that echoes like the hefty amount of percussion in the backdrop.  JMSN has been playing shows this year primarily in Los Angeles, and I’m hoping his next effort in ’13 will take him across North America (perhaps with his friend Daniel Bedingfield?  More about that further on.).  Watch the video below; it will make you squirm but it’s hard to look away.

#38  Bright Light Bright Light “Moves”

#35  Bright Light Bright Light featuring Mykal Kilgore “Feel It”

Nary a day has gone by in the last three years when the music of Bright Light Bright Light hasn’t been heard in my household or in my car or on my iPod.  Regular readers will already know that Wales-born London-based BLx2 (Rod Thomas) creates wise and romantic soundscapes that draw heavily from disco and 90’s dance pop.  “Moves” and “Feel It” are two of three songs in this year end listing from BLx2’s debut album Make Me Believe In Hope – and Rod will convince you.  “Moves” (live performance video below) is disco heaven featuring a backdrop of 70’s flourishes while “Feel It” pulls up to the bumper with its funky heat and supurb featured vocals by mister Mykal Kilgore that would not sound out of place on a Black Box single.  To cap it all off, Rod created one of his now famously generous mashups with “Feel It” and Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki” which puts a smile on my face – and anyone else’s who I’ve played it for – every time.  

#37  Adam Tyler “Like A Drug”

Another album that has songs split between last year and this year is Shattered Ice by Adam Tyler.  L.A.-based Adam’s been a mainstay in these parts for the last three years, continuing with the seductive “Like A Drug”, which took a bit longer to resonate with me than some of his other songs, but nonetheless it did, and Adam scored with a slick, impressively choreographed video.  Adam also released an EP of stripped-away renditions of some of the Shattered Ice songs called Acoustic Ice, whose proceeds go to charity.  One more Adam song – making it four that charted from Shattered Ice –  is still to come in this countdown!

#36  Andreas Moe “Collecting Sunlight”

One of the year’s utterly joyful delights is “Collecting Sunlight” by Swedish singer/songwriter (and one of my 13 Performers to Watch in ’13) 24 year old Andreas Moe.  The song tells a simple story that is brought to life by Andreas’ affecting vocal and subsequently by a literal but engaging animated video.   But this time, watch the live performance clip below.

 

#34 Joe Jonas “Not Right Now”

I didn’t latch on to Joe’s Fastlife album until late last year after the first two singles from the album failed to register much with me.  But upon hearing his third single, the R&B-oriented ballad “Just In Love”, I ventured into the album, and found it filled with intensely edgy danceable pop with a heavy influence from the current EDM scene.  That led to two other non-singles arriving on my chart (one will follow later on in this list), so first we have “Not Right Now”, which is a pretty damn fierce cha-cha if you ask me.  This is hardly what Jonas fans could have expected (and perhaps album sales suffered for that), but its smart arrangement and urgent vocal will certainly keep Joe Jonas on my radar for his next release.

 #33 Vincent Did It featuring Quigley “Notice Me”

While we anticipate FrankMusik’s third album next year, he did offer us (under the guise of Vincent Did It) a still-free EP early on in the year called The SOPA Opera.  It contained a diverse collection of electronic dance pop songs, including this gem, a duet led by Quigley (aka Casey Carlson) released in advance of her FrankMusik-produced EP Pleiades.  Follow Frank on his journey on Twitter and take the opportunity to drop into the adventurous proceedings in his studio when he streams his works-in-progress.

#32 Ellie Goulding “Anything Could Happen”

Unlike her massive hit “Lights”, which took well over a year to gel with radio stations in North America, the sparkling and uplifting “Anything Could Happen”, from Ellie’s sophomore album Halcyon, is a no-brainer.  Ellie performs a striking vocal in this song, which should by all rights be a bigger hit as it just jumps out of the radio when you hear it.  I also wrote about its inventive remix by Birdy Nam Nam which generated quite a flurry online a few months back.  Ellie has the potential to be the Kate Bush of the current generation.

#31 Daniel Bedingfield “Secret Fear”

Being a fan of his earlier hits, I was very pleased when Daniel Bedingfield was released from record company hell to bring us up to date on the music he’d been writing for the last eight years.  Understandably, this comeback was not going to be Gotta Get Thru This part two.  In fact Daniel’s album Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik contains intensely personal and emotional ruminations on love, relationships and most apparently, sex.  “Secret Fear” is the dramatic, cathartic lead off song, which Daniel transformed into a claustrophobic but most watchable video that he also directed.  Shows in Los Angeles and South Africa received raves from those who attended; let’s put him on a double bill with his friend JMSN for a tour, shall we?

BILLCS Top 30 #394 – December 17, 2012

“Parachute” by Matthew Koma becomes the New York singer’s second #1 of 2012 (heading into 2013 – this is my 2012-ending chart – the next one for December 31 counts towards 2013), following his partnership with Zedd on Billboard’s #1 Dance Club Play song of the year, “Spectrum”.  I would actually put money on the fact that Matthew will be one of the Ones to Watch for 2013, given the quality of his EP Parachute.  In fact, his spirited and edgy rocker “1998” is the chart’s fastest riser, moving 19-6.  I can’t wait for the full album to hear what else Matthew has been up to. 

 “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin is still going strong at #2, while “Yeah Yeah” by the currently-touring Willy Moon soars to #3 and will challenge “Parachute” in the coming weeks to find which song sticks in my head the most!  With the recent release of Almeria, Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield (video above) hold steady at #4 with “Between The Raindrops” and the band (whose 7th Top 10 entry this is on my chart) will undoubtedly promote the album with another single release.  The long-lasting “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Portugal’s Carlos Nóbrega sticks tight at #5 and – spoiler! – will rank highly on my Best of 2012 year end list, which will come to you gradually starting on December 26.

 One of the joys about creating a personal chart is to see independent releases alongside of major label names, and quite often this chart consists more than 50% of indies.  It started off as a free download, and now an album is in progress for Vague-à-bonde as the Minnesota-based singer holds at #7 with “Evolved” (ab0ve).  Right behind at #8 are Matt & Kim, whose main aim is fun, as songs from their album Lightning articulate, with “Let’s Go” (and further down with “Now” at #20).  Tao Hypah’s dance pop of another colour is at #9 with “Play The Girl” – Mr. Hypah’s 2nd Top Tenner following the #3 “Celeb”, which will also appear in good company on my year end list.  Call it a jam-packed Top 10 finishing off with Adele’s “Skyfall”.  It’s her 5th Top Tenner on the chart.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

 

More indies on the rise just outside of the Top 10 – Kid Massive & DATABOY, Chris Wallace, Arty/Nadia Ali/BT, and Bim – with a special mention going to Chris for achieving airplay in New York with one of this year’s special songs “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, which has also been in Mediabase’s Top 40 for weeks and is still climbing.  Chris also debuts on the chart with “Keep Me Crazy” (ab0ve) at #29, recently free on Amazon in the USA.  “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” (#12), “Remember When”, and “Keep Me Crazy” can all be found on Chris’ excellent album Push Rewind.  Rounding out the other indies, “O.V.E.R. U.” by Daniel Bedingfield climbs to #16, while “Fast As I Can” by Frankmusik jumps to #19 as the singer now records his album You Are Here (and promises an acoustic piano version of it too!).

 

There are no surprises as the release of Synapses approaches that River Tiber debuts at #22 with their 4th chart entry “What Are You Afraid Of”, which is still available as a free download on the Toronto band’s Soundcloud page.  If you’re in Toronto, catch them on January 3 for an album release party at the Drake Hotel.  I’ve already written about Passion Pit’s weirdly anthemic “Take A Walk” (#24), and now I’ve heard it locally on radio too!  There was an overdose of Ne-Yo on TV two weeks ago and “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” (above) has become embedded in my ears, so it somewhat belatedly arrives on the chart at #26.  It’s the singer’s 7th chart entry and first since he appeared on Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” in 2009.  Last but by no means least at #30 is “Miss Unknown” by the talented Eric Saade, which I wrote about on the weekend and might be a game-changer for the singer if people embrace the softer side of his music along with a mostly delightful video.  It’s already his 7th song to appear on my chart since “Popular” (my #1 song of 2011) started the ball rolling.

 

 

BILLCS Top 30 #393 – December 3/12

I think we should be seeing some new blood invading the chart soon. In the meantime…

“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia & John Martin holds at #1, while “Parachute” from Matthew Koma’s EP of the same name is now at #2 and looks to follow his pairing with Zedd on “Spectrum” (#10) to the top spot. “Music Makes Me Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega hangs tough at #3, while the understated (and unfortunately underperforming) “Between The Raindrops” by Lifehouse & Natasha Bedingfield zips up to #4. Lifehouse’s Almeria will be on release before the next chart on December 17. And Bright Light Bright Light gets yet another Top 5er with “Feel It”. Do go to this link for BLx2’s musical Christmas Advent calendar of mashups – today he meshed his own “Moves” with “Your Loving Arms”, the classic 90’s club hit by Billie Ray Martin (listen and download below).

In the ‘movin’ on up’ category, we find a contender for the top bounding up to #6 – “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon (stylish video up top), who performs two gigs in New York City this week. “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde continues to impress by rising to #7, and “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler (who is in Sweden, for fans of “V” – video below) moves to #8. “Let’s Go” by Matt & Kim becomes their third Top Tenner on this chart at #9.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Not to be outdone, “Skyfall” by Adele is no slouch at #12, while the fastest riser on the chart is the infectious controversy-generating “Play The Girl” by The Netherlands’ Tao Hypah, vaulting 21-13. It’s just one of those songs that has a message which is totally secondary to its engaging melody and chorus. “Good Girlfriend” by Kid Massive & DATABOY and “Must Be the Love” by Arty, Nadia Ali & BT continue to follow each other’s dance steps up the chart at #14 and #15 respectively. Bim’s “Burn” continues to sear its way up at #17, with last week’s pop parade of “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace and “1998” by Matthew Koma” in tow at #18 and #19, as well as Daniel Bedingfield’s “O.V.E.R. U.” at #21.

The three debuts have already been written about in these pages so absolutely no surprise that they land on the chart. “Fast As I Can” bows at #25 and is the first independently released single by FrankMusik from his upcoming album You Are here, due at end of January. As good as the song is, this one revels in a powerful, soulful Vincent Frank vocal. Vince also posted a most beautiful demo of a ballad recently called “Shores” – do give a listen below. Matt & Kim score entry #2 from their Lightning album with “Now” at #27 (live clip below).  After the duo take a well-deserved break from touring, they will be back at it with Passion Pit in the new year.

Finally, The Presets arrive at #29 with “Youth In Trouble” from their Pacifica album (live clip below). The song was the first video we saw and has resonated much longer than the official single “Ghosts”. The duo will be back in home country Australia in the new year for more dates.

BILLCS Top 30 #392 – November 19/12

Bear with me with this bare-bones write up of the songs on my latest personal chart.  Aside from a few new videos, of course you can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

Swedish House Mafia & John Martin get their turn at the top with the memorable “Don’t You Worry Child”, which displaces another fave of mine, “Music Makes You Lose Control” by Carlos Nóbrega, which should hang around in the Top 10.

But aside from the turnover at #1, the chart seems to be about one name.  The name is Koma. Matthew Koma. Not only does his collaboration with Zedd on “Spectrum” stay in the Top 5 at #3, but the title track of his EP Parachute vaults 17-4, which could result in a shorter stay at #1 for the Mafia.  The New Yorker also debuts at #26 with “1998”, which definitely shows his edgier rock style, definitely recalling post-punk folks like Elvis Costello and XTC.  His album Propaganda will be out in early ’13 – woo!

It puts a smile on my face every time I play Bright Light Bright Light’s mashup of his hit “Feel It” with Scissor Sisters’ “Let’s Have A Kiki”.  “Feel It” moves up to #6 this week, and the Lifehouse/Natasha Bedingfield collaboration on “Between The Raindrops” is slowly finding favour, rising 10-7.  Watch the video below – too bad there aren’t any scenes with Jason and Natasha together.

Two newcomers join the Top 10, songs that you won’t really find elsewhere!  “Evolved” by Vague-à-bonde climbs 11-8 as the singer (Nicole Alicia) prepares a video and more new songs.  “Evolved” has one of those immensely likeable qualities – it just sneaks up on you and hits you between the eyes with its chorus.  Mesmerizing in a different way is “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” by Jane Badler which rises 12-10 and can be found on Jane’s EP Mistaken Identity which you can buy on iTunes.

Despite many songs tumbling on the chart, there’s still quite a bit of activity.  “Yeah Yeah” by New Zealand’s Willy Moon soars 22-11 as the singer tours in the UK.  Matt & Kim wrap up their Lightning tour (though they are touring with Passion Pit in 2013) and “Let’s Go” jumps 15-12.  Kid Massive & DATABOY make a great pairing as “Good Girlfriend” moves 20-17 (video below).  Right behind is the Arty/Nadia Ali/BT collaboration “Must Be The Love” at #18, Adele’s “Skyfall” at #19, “Burn” by Bim at #20, and “Play The Girl” by Tao Hypah at #21.

Joining the chart are two more new entries.  I’m hoping it may not be too premature, but since “Remember When” by Chris Wallace exits after a mandatory 10 chart (20 week) run, I’ve installed “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” at #25.  To me this is the natural follow up to “Remember When”.  Over the past two weeks, Daniel Bedingfield released the provocative video to “Secret Fear”, which got to #5 on my chart this summer.  The video is quite a feat, developed and directed by Daniel, and filled with numerous meanings.  I’ve also been playing “O.V.E.R. U.” from his free Secret Fear-Stop The Traffik EP for months, and it arrives on the chart at #27.  Listen to “Time Bomb” and “O.V.E.R. U.”  and watch the video for “Secret Fear” below.

Shorter and more frequent blog posts coming your way soon!!

BILLCS Chart #384 – DATABOY Score Gold For A Third Time

My bi-weekly chart of favourites is delightfully abuzz of a great bunch of new songs, which is making it increasingly difficult to rank every two weeks.  So the ups and downs of songs look like they will be a bit dramatic during these summer months, and the wait for #1 for some top notch songs may continue longer than it normally would.

DATABOY score their third number one song on the chart with “Dreams Are Gold”, a song that’s awash in as great a melody as it is with lyrics that totally hit home for me with its message.  They’ve already been on top with “Just Once” last summer (also included on their Dreams Are Gold album), as well as with Rune RK for “Memorize Me”, the song that brought sunny Ibiza sounds to my winter months.  Be sure to listen to “Dreams Are Gold” below.

That means that “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace, which is starting to get national radio play in the U.S., moves up to #2.  It’s surely a contender for #1, but it’s a matter of WHEN it will get there with “Dreams Are Gold” ahead of it.  That also means “One Kiss” by Jeronimo, one of my most played current songs, drops somewhat early to #3 but should hang in and around the Top 10 for a few more weeks.  And did you know that one of Jeronimo’s songs is the Cartoon Network ID for some parts of the world (outside of Europe and North America)??  

The fastest riser on the chart, because I can’t get it out of my head 😉 , is “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, which soars 15-4 somewhat in anticipation of what she’ll release next.  All of Kylie’s 5 songs that have got on my chart have reached my Top 10; “Timebomb” surpasses the #5 peak of “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” to become her biggest chart hit.  Watch her performance from “The Voice” (UK) below.  Daniel Bedingfield has been performing some gigs in L.A., which hopefully bodes well for them to spread to other parts of North America in the near future.  “Secret Fear” jumps to #5, matching the same peak of “Wrap My Words Around You” back in 2005.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

The rest of the Top 10 moves up, with the exception of “All Our Love” by Gentlemen Hall, which slips to #10.  “Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison climbs to #6, and DATABOY’s concurrent Top Tenner “Lotion” moves to #8.  The second new entry to the Top 10 is “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe, which arrives at #9.

The third newcomer to the Top 10 is the highest debut this week.  The Calvin Harris remix of Florence & The Machine’s “Spectrum (Say My Name)” turns the song into a most colourful and rousing dance hit that is the current UK #1.  It bows on my chart at #7, giving the band their second Top 10 hit following 2009’s “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, which got to #2.  I’m glad “Spectrum” got release as a single as something needed to give new life to the Ceremonials album while Florence waits to return to touring after throat problems caused some gigs to be cancelled.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the chart continues to be busy below the Top 10.  “Moves”, the song by Bright Light Bright Light that’s immersed in a late 70’s disco strings arrangement, leaps 21-11, while “Angel” by Darren Hayes (the flip side to the single of “Talk Talk Talk”) is right behind, up 16-12.  “Go For Gold” has certainly arrived right in time for the Olympics, so don’t be surprised if Kyle Patrick’s song (moving 23-14) gets some deserved attention during the many weeks to come.  Kyle has also recently released his self-titled EP on iTunes, while “Go For Gold” continues to be a free download.  Watch the video below.

I’m pleased to report that New York singer Baiyu is a contestant on the new CW show “The Next”, which features Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas, John Rich, and Nelly as panelist judges.  The show begins on August 16, so be sure to tune in to see how far this talented gal can go.  In the meantime, watch her video for “Invisible” (#22) below.  The club-oriented title song from her Hunter mixtape also climbs to #15.

“Chasing The Sun” by The Wanted charges to #16, while Monti Montañez’s “Turn Up Your Radio” (from This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One) moves up to #17.  The high dose of summer energy that is “Turn It Up” by Portugal’s all round entertainer (and fellow Poptronik performer) Carlos Nóbrega vaults 26-19 (listen below), while UK foursome Lawson reach #20 with “When She Was Mine”.

I’ve previously written about 3 of our remaining 4 debuts, which you can see/hear below.  Foster The People’s “Houdini” (#23) is a real sleeper that comes alive in the clubby Green Children remix.  Poptronik performer Markus Riva (who is also a DJ on Latvia’s Capital radio) gets his second chart entry with the pulsating “We Dance 4 Reason” at #24.  “High For You” was written and originally recorded by Toronto’s noted The Weeknd and has received some radio play as well in his home city.  Ellie Goulding puts a slow grooving spin on the song, which is also a free download.  While the pop world delights with playing her song “Lights”, “High For This” arrives at #26 on my chart.  Lastly,   as with their Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit, “Famous”, Canadian trio Audio Playground has found that their latest single “Emergency” (featuring Snoop Dogg) has broken out of Quebec.  “Emergency” lands on the chart at #28.

BILLCS Top 30 #383 – July 16/12 – One, two, three – BOOM!!

It’s as easy as 1…..2…..3…..

1…..

2…..

3……

You’ll know that people aren’t jumping from high places when you suddenly hear several cries of Jeronimo, as the Dutch singer’s utterly delightful “One Kiss” rises to the top of my chart.  But it is immediately being challenged by the glorious words and melodies of DATABOY, whose title song from their album Dreams Are Gold gets 2nd place, while fastest riser “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace gets 3rd.  These are three of the most eminently likeable songs of 2012, and it would be a shame for you to pass them up!  Get ’em all on iTunes too!

Meanwhile in the lower half of the Top 10, there’s plenty of activity with Daniel Bedingfield’s stellar title song from his EP Secret Fear – Stop The Traffik climbing to #6, with Boston’s Gentlemen Hall in too at #7 with “All Our Love”.  RAC featuring the vocals of Chris Glover from Penguin Prison, is a new entry to the Top 10 with “Hollywood” at #8, and DATABOY’s second song on the chart from Dreams Are Gold is the winning “Lotion” at #10.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so 🙂

The rest of the chart is pretty busy.  There is no shortage of great music out there and every song seems to fight not only for highest placement but longevity (to the maximum of 10 appearances, natch) as well.  “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe, who has recently been in Tokyo performing to large crowds, is Top 10 bound at #11, and River Tiber’s jazzy “These Are Centuries” climbs to #13.  If “Remember When” by Chris Wallace hadn’t soared 17 places, then the fastest rise would have been the 14 place move up for Kylie Minogue’s “Timebomb”, whose chorus is presently stuck in my head, now at #15.  Right behind is Darren Hayes’ lovely rendition of Madonna’s “Angel” at #16, while Baiyu’s percolating title song from her mixtape Hunter is now at #17, and “Chasing The Sun”, which got to #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart for The Wanted, jumps to #19.  Down a bit further but rising steadily are “When She Was Mine” by UK foursome Lawson at #22, and the second entry from Baiyu, a sultry ballad featuring Rotimi called “Invisible”, is at #24.

Three new entries to the chart should be of no surprise to you.  While “Waiting For The Feeling” gives up #1 after four appearances (eight weeks), I’m still waiting to hear about a next single release from Bright Light Bright Light’s album Make Me Believe In Hope, which is one of the year’s finest releases.  The magnificent emotional disco throwback that is “Moves” is the highest premiere on the chart at #21.  Watch BLx2 perform the song below in London, followed by one of last year’s best singles, “Disco Moment”.

I know I only wrote about this one yesterday, but it’s effect on my chart is instantaneous!  “Go For Gold” by the Click Five’s Kyle Patrick bows at #23.  Another feel good, high energy song to keep you happy during the summer 🙂

Lastly at #26, high energy in more of a club vibe kind of way comes from “Turn It Up”, the latest single from Poptronik artist Carlos Nóbrega.  Carlos joins fellow Poptronik album performers Tao Hypah, Markus Riva, and Monti Montañez, who continues to rise up the chart with “Turn On Your Radio” at #18.

BILLCS Chart #382

The Top 4 songs on the chart stay the same, while six new entries dance onto the chart.  They’re led by “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, the song that simply won’t leave my head by ex-White Tie Affair singer Chris Wallace.  It will be one of a handful of songs that will be remembered in tandem with Summer ’12!  Watch the impressive video below again, if you didn’t see my most recent blog post 🙂

Meanwhile, back at the top of the chart, “Waiting For The Feeling” by Bright Light Bright Light latches to #1 for another chart, but assuredly will be succeeded by “One Kiss” by Jeronimo, which holds at #2.  Both performers’ full length albums are treats, so be sure to buy them on iTunes.  Watch live clips of both performers below, with Bright Light Bright Light performing “Moves” and Jeronimo singing “Unheard”.

Moving quickly up the chart of course to #5 is “Dreams Are Gold”, the title track from DATABOY’s new album, which you can also read about right here.  Poptronik sensation Markus Riva climbs to #7 with “How It Feels To Be A Man”, while Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall (recently voted the best act in that city by the Boston Phoenix) move up to #8 with “All Our Love”, and Daniel Bedingfield’s intense “Secret Fear” is at #9 and his first Top Tenner on this chart since 2005.  Watch for club dates for Gentlemen Hall in Boston and for Daniel in L.A.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.

The fastest riser on the chart this week is “Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison, moving 23-13.  If you enjoyed PP’s “The Worse It Gets”, it’s much in that vein – sunny, California-sounding pop that should get kick-started in clubs.  Listen to the exceptional remix by The Magician below.

Other songs on the move include those by Andreas Moe, DATABOY (their second song “Lotion” is at #15), River Tiber, and Darren Hayes’ reverent cover of Madonna’s “Angel” at #22 (listen below).

In among the rest of the five debuts we have a double shot of Baiyu, the New York singer who I wrote about right here and has released a new mixtape for free download called Hunter.  The magnetic dance club geared title song bows at #24, while the sexy and heartfelt R&B duet with Rotimi, “Invisible”, enters at #30.  

While my 12 year old daughter is firmly planted in the One Direction camp, I’m more partial to the songs from The Wanted, who seem to be geared less towards teens and more towards a varied audience.  As “Glad You Came” (which got to #4) departs, it is replaced by “Chasing The Sun” which debuts at #27.  Lawson are a British quartet who I’ve already written about that write their own songs and play their own instruments.  It’s taken a little while but “When She Was Mine” seems geared for the summer months and premieres on the chart at #28.  Watch videos for both songs below.

The last debut is Kylie Minogue’s finest hour in recent years, so I’m not understanding the mixed public reaction to “Timebomb”.  It enters my chart at #29, and if anything it will high-tail it to the top of the dance charts in North America.  Watch below.